Friday 1 December 2017

Tricklock 2017

My mate Louis is an absolute whizz at designing 3D printed puzzles that make use of the materials’ qualities superbly… he understands how much flexibility there is in “white, strong and flexible” stuff, how opaque or otherwise it is at various thicknesses and just how to get his bits dimensionally perfect, even when you didn’t have direct control over the printing orientation – something which, as it turns out, is critical in certain circumstances. 

For the past couple of years, he’s been putting that expertise to good use in designing exchange puzzles for me and the odd Tricklock to serve as his own give-aways… Tricklock 2017 is the third on the series, and it’s great. 

I’d seen a prototype on an earlier visit to the Flatlands and on his last visit Louis gave me a copy of the final production piece… it’s a neat little size, fitting perfectly with the two earlier Tricklocks. This one has a “2017” nameplate across the front to differentiate it from its earlier brethren, although in fairness, they are all easily identifiable.

For starters you get a key sticking out of the lock, albeit held rather firmly in place, and a half-covered keyhole, which seems rather unsporting… the key will happily turn, almost a full revolution, but that doesn’t seem to accomplish an awful lot.

Best work out how to get that key to be more useful, or at least find out how to get the darn thing out. 

Finding how to get the key out, immediately presents you with another challenge… get past that one and another one pops up… and so you continue, until finally the shackle is released.

Returning it back to the start is probably a bit simpler given what you’ve had to learn along the way, but still not a trivial exercise. 

I love the way those properties of WSF have been used here – differently to the earlier locks – to present a series of challenges that each build on the previous… and there’s a lovely little bit of humour if you sit back and think about what you’ve done after you’ve solved it. 

Definitely a worthy addition to Louis’ line of Tricklocks!

...and if you're quick, there are still a couple available over at Puzzle Paradise right now. 


  1. Isn't it amazing how such little things may still holds so many surprises?! Very nice designs. And Louis is such a cool person - no pun intended!


    1. ....many steps maketh a goodly puzzle from a great dude!

  2. After waiting three weeks, it depressed me to think my purchase was lost in the mail. When the envelope finally arrived this morning, in a bit of a ragged state, I was not impressed with Canada Post. Thankfully, the puzzle was not damaged, and so I could begin the solving of it. Wow! Louis certainly compressed several ideas into one neat little package.
    Let me express my thanks, Allard, for your November 17 blog, informing me of this wonderful gem.